Following the rules is cool, especially when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO)— more specifically, white hat SEO. Did you know that 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine? If you want to reach people interested in your business, you must invest in search engine optimization (SEO) services to reach qualified leads.
However, with so many SEO tactics out there — and not all of them honest — it’s essential to distinguish between white and black hat SEO. While white hat SEO strategies will improve your search rankings and boost leads for your business, black hat SEO can land your company in hot water — and ultimately hurt your online presence.
On this page, we’ll discuss what white hat SEO is, some different white hat SEO techniques, and tips on utilizing this organic strategy. Just keep reading to learn more — and check out our white hat SEO services to find out how WebFX can drive results for you!
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What is white hat SEO?
White hat SEO means optimizing your website for search engine visibility through tactics that are in line with a search engine’s rules and guidelines. Whether it’s Google or Bing, your strategies stay within the confines of the search engine’s rules.
These tactics help your business gain higher rankings in search results using honest, ethical practices. In other words, white hat SEO encompasses any method that enables you to improve your ranking while maintaining the integrity of your website.
White hat SEO vs. black hat SEO
As you research more about white hat SEO techniques, you’ll come across information about black hat SEO. It’s crucial that you understand the difference between white hat and black hat SEO. Black hat SEO uses techniques that don’t follow the search engine guidelines.
Many of these strategies aren’t ethical and go against search engine rules. They may help you achieve short-term boosts in rankings, but your site will likely face harsh penalties for using black hat SEO. Think of black hat SEO as cheating.
It’s a quick, round-about way to get to the top of the rankings, but when you get caught, you’ll get in trouble. Google will penalize your site once they detect your using black hat SEO techniques, which will make ranking much more difficult for your business. Some black hat SEO techniques include:
- Cloaking: Cloaking is the practice of delivering different webpages to search engines than humans. Mainly, the search engine will see a well-optimized and relevant page, but the user will see a page that isn’t relevant to their search query.
- Reporting competitors: Companies will try to report their competitors to eliminate them from top ranking spots and improve their ranking. It’s an unethical practice to try and climb to the top of the rankings.
- Link farming: With link farming, companies will try to buy links to their site. Since links to your page are an essential ranking factor, some companies will try to purchase these links to boost rankings.
- Keyword stuffing: This practice involves overusing or “stuffing” keywords to try ranking for those relevant terms. Companies will try to use these keywords more than enough times to get Google to recognize their page as applicable to the search results.
- Duplicating content: When you duplicate content, you create the same piece of content but present it as two different pieces of content. It’s not a new piece or an optimized piece. Companies use this black hat SEO technique to try and rank for specific keywords and drive traffic to their page.
These are just a few of the many black hat SEO techniques that companies use to try to exploit the ranking system. If you’re looking into an SEO company and see that they are using these tactics, you’ll want to shy away from that company. So, what’s the difference between these two tactics?
White hat SEO utilizes techniques that work with search engines to naturally improve your ranking, while black hat SEO techniques use unethical means to boost your website’s ranking in the search results. Black hat SEO techniques are risky, while white hat SEO techniques are safe. It’s best to shy away from black hat SEO techniques so you can stay in line with Google’s guidelines.
What are white hat SEO techniques?
As you look more into white hat SEO, you may be wondering about techniques. Let’s take a look at a few valuable white hat SEO techniques that will help your business grow through Google’s search engine:
- Keyword research and integration: Choosing the right keywords in an integral part of SEO. Conducting keyword research will allow you to find the relevant keywords to help you appear in relevant results. Once you have your keywords selected, you can judiciously integrate them into your site to help you rank in the search results.
- Creating quality content: Content marketing is one of the best white hat SEO tactics for helping you drive traffic to your site. When you create content, you provide your audience with industry-related information to help them gain valuable knowledge. Content will boost traffic on your website, increase dwell time, and improve your ranking.
- Optimizing your site load time: Users don’t want to wait for your site to load because they want information quickly. Page speed optimization is one of the most prominent white hat SEO techniques for keeping leads on your page. You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to see issues with your site and how you can improve them.
- Optimizing your site for mobile: More than 50% of Internet traffic comes from mobile, so you must adapt your website to work for mobile users. You can make your site mobile-friendly by integrating responsive design, which allows your site to change to whatever device a user is using.
These are just a few of the many white hat SEO tactics you can use to improve your site’s ranking in the search results. You can use multiple techniques to help improve your SEO ranking.
4 ways to optimize your site with white hat SEO
Now that you know the importance of white hat SEO, you can start optimizing your site with these techniques. Let’s take a look at four tips to help you utilize white hat SEO effectively.
1. Focus on building your brand
Your brand is an integral part of your business’s identity. You want people to get to know your brand and become familiar with it. Brand familiarity will help you earn more valuable leads for your business.
When you create your website, you want to showcase your brand to your audience. You should choose design colors that reflect your business and help your audience get familiar with your brand. Brand recognition is essential because it leads to more conversions down the line.
When people remember your brand, they’re more likely to choose you over the competition when it comes time to convert. Customers want to shop and invest in brands that are familiar to them. SEO practices can help you build your brand and get more people familiar with your brand.
Through link building, you’ll help more people find your brand and learn about it. Also, SEO allows you to rank for keywords that are relevant to your brand. You can create content utilizing keywords for your brand and showcase your brand through your content.
2. Focus on long-tail keywords when conducting keyword research
Keyword research and integration is a prominent white hat SEO technique. To reach people who are most likely to be interested in your business, you’ll want to integrate long-tail keywords. To do it correctly, you must focus on long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords are keywords that contain three or more words. They are extremely specific, so they drive leads that are precisely looking for your products or services. An example of a long-tail keyword is “plumbers in Harrisburg, PA.” This long-tail keyword is specific and indicates user search intent.
Someone who searches “plumbers in Harrisburg, PA” is specifically looking for a plumber in the Harrisburg area. If someone searched “plumber,” you wouldn’t know what they were hoping to find. They could be looking for a plumber, how to become a plumber or general information about plumbing.
By choosing long-tail keywords, you drive better traffic to your site. It’s the best way to drive valuable leads to your page.
3. Create content that is unique and valuable to your audience
Content creation strongly impacts your SEO ranking. When you create content, you boost traffic on your website and drive more leads to your page. As you create content, ensure that it is unique and valuable to your audience.
You don’t want to create content for the sake of creating content. Your audience wants information that is valuable and helps them learn. People don’t want thin content that barely skims the surface, but rather, in-depth content that is informative and all-encompassing.
Content marketing requires constant publishing, too. This consistent publishing leads some companies to duplicate their content to make it seem as though they are publishing new material when they aren’t. Duplicating content is a black hat SEO technique, and you’ll want to avoid it.
Instead, continually conduct keyword research to find new topics to cover. You can choose a format that fits best for covering the subject, including blogs, videos, infographics, and ebooks. You’ll want to create these different formats of content regularly to ensure you’re maintaining an effective content marketing campaign.
So, what are the characteristics of quality content?
- Easy for your audience to read and comprehend
- Matches search intent
- Has an exciting title that catches your audience’s attention
- Has a compelling meta description that entices your audience to click and learn more
- Includes visuals that make the content more engaging
- Provides comprehensive, in-depth information about a topic
These are all characteristics of quality content. If you want to drive the best results with white hat SEO techniques, ensure that the content you create is authentic, fresh, and informative.
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4. Build quality internal links to increase dwell time
Strategic internal linking is another white hat SEO technique. Links play an essential role in keeping leads on your site longer. When you create pages on your website, you’ll want to link to related pages within your text.
You can link to relevant pages by looking at critical terms you use within your content. If these key terms have a similar page, you can link to it within your text. For example, let’s say you’re writing a page about the best desserts to bake for parties.
Your first dessert is brownies, and you know you have a page on how to make a large batch of brownies. You could link to that page within your content when you mention making a large batch of brownies for a party. These internal links are essential to your site because they keep leads on your page longer.
People will spend time checking out your content and learning more about specific topics by clicking on links. It’s an effective way to keep leads engaged on your page longer. By building quality links, you’ll increase dwell time on your site and send a positive signal to Google.
Google will boost your website’s ranking to help you reach more traffic since your page is relevant to the search query. It’s a great white hat SEO technique that can grow your business and improve your rankings.
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If you want your website to thrive in the organic search results, you must invest in white hat SEO. White hat SEO will help you optimize your site to appear in more relevant search results and drive more leads to your page. If you’re looking for an SEO company that can help you implement these white hat techniques, look no further than WebFX.
We’re a full-service digital marketing company that specializes in white hat SEO techniques. We have a team of over 450 experts that will help you optimize your site to appear in more relevant search results. Our team of experts will help you integrate white hat SEO techniques to grow your business.
If you’re ready to start improving your organic rankings for your business, or you’re having issues with your current SEO, contact us online or call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist.